In 1733 a ship with a license for corsairing from Tuscany attacked a ship in the Ottoman port of Damietta, Egypt. The victimized ship captain pursued a legal case against his attacker and the narration of the incident provides a detailed description of an Ottoman Mediterranean port and its workings, something which is quite rare. This article, a microstudy of the port of Damietta, will identify what was distinctive about the city’s interface with the sea, through a close examination of the port itself, as well as a comparison with Rosetta and Alexandria. I shall argue that there was no one port of Damietta, but rather several key arenas of encounter that offered different levels of opportunity and risk. There have been quite a few studies of what are called “port cities” in the Mediterranean but invariably these are studies of cities, not ports. This article aims to open up a discussion of Mediterranean ports.